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Grafters Paperback – 7 Jan 2004

4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Paperback, 7 Jan 2004
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Milo Books (7 Jan. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903854288
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903854280
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 267,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

Colin Blaney was a grafter, a wired-up, beat-down, real-life version of Kerouacs's Dean Moriarty. He set out from the decrepit council flats of east Manchester on a mission - to burn, burn, burn through a world of sex, booze, scams and good times. As a child he burgled warehouses and factories. As a youth he joined the bootboys of Manchester United's Red Army as they rampaged through the country. As an adult he learned to 'dip' with the Scouse pickpocket gangs, to sell drugs to Rastas in Moss Side shebeens, to sneak-thieve from tills and jewellery stores with his mad Collyhurst crew. But Europe offered the greatest lure. 'We started to buy Inter-Rails. These were for students but we knew a girl in the travel office who sorted us out. They cost [pound]60 and you could travel anywhere for four weeks...' Soon he was scoring hash in Amsterdam, peddling Ecstasy in Spain, kiting dodgy credit cards in Belgium, flogging bootleg t-shirts at rock concerts in France, snatching jewels in Germany. He and his mates served time in half the jails in Continental Europe - and then went back for more. They were on a raucous, riotous, rollercoaster ride - until they finally hit the buffers.

Some people live for the day. A grafter lives for the minute.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 2 Dec. 2004
Format: Paperback
Great book,it shows either how naive the europeans were or what a horrible bunch us brits are or were.
The book also goes into detail about the start of the football hooligan,life growing up in an inner city with the ravages of poverty & drugs.
For myself who unfortunately have spent some of my life in foreign prisons i can relate to it but for someone who hasnt it is a real eye opener(my girlfriend read it & was horrified.
I started the book on a long haul flight & had almost finished it when coming in to land so i would say it is a fantastic read.
BUY IT YOU WONT BE DISAPPOINTED
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Format: Paperback
The author has led some life. As a key member in an international gang of thieves he toured the world looking for rich pickings and for a time life was easy. Naturally the law caught up with him and he subsequently spent substantial time at the pleasure of most members of the EU.
Nevertheless this is a great read. He came from an area of Manchester where little was expected other than you had to fight for a living and this is what the author has done. Now, having gone straight, he has discovered that there are probably more crooks in the media than the criminal fraternity.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Grafters....wasn't sure it would be to my taste...but, was quite surprised...even more so when I recognised some of the pubs that my Dad use to visit and my uncle played Irish music in...so thumbs up Colin for suggesting I read it....I really don't think your proof reader did you justice though....Really not into football and never actually realised the connection between organised crime and the game,until reading the book...it really is an eye opener...an incredible existence and life experience....would liked to have read more about the effects of your life style on your partners as it was all part of the equation at the time....what did they do when you were absent for so long...what was it that made them wait for you...how did Smiler react when you called off the wedding....when you were wedged did you look after her and the baby...if your love was so strong why didn't you ever get back together etc.,What did you do in return for all the favours the girls at the holiday camps did for you while putting their jobs on the line?? From my own personal point of view I think it would have improved the read...I think it deserved as much recognition as the football and crime....Material for another book maybe....Next read... Undesirables
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Colin Blaney attempts in this book to present himself in the role of a cheeky scally, a lovable rogue, the reformed criminal with a heart of gold in his own criminal genre of sneak thief, in much the same mould as Howard Marks, Curtis Warren, Michel 'mini' Cooper or John McVicar.

Unfortunately, Blaney appears throughout his book to be quite a sly, untrustworty and rather unlikable self-obsessed character whose venal career criminality inflicts misery on those that he deceives and robs along the way. He does this largely without recognition or remorse whilst bleating on those the occasions when others, particularly those in the film and media industries treat him in, in his view, a contemptible or dishonest way.

The first few chapters are reasonably interesting for their novelty although the plot of the book quickly becomes repetitive as he shoplifts and thieves in the brief spells between jail-time or dumps yet another partner or employer. The sub-text throughout the book is that his criminality was somehow justified by being born and brought up in one of the poorer areas of Manchester and that this consequently fact alone largely absolves him from the necessity for guilt or genuine remorse.

As for the football violence element, although he peppers the later chapter of the book with name-checks of the real hard men such as Cas Pennant and others, by his own account, Blaney himself appears to have been more of a follower than a leader or a terrace general and there are many better accounts of the seventies and eighties football hooligan phenomena written by insiders, if that's your sort of thing.

This is a revised and updated edition and irritatingly, the standard of proof-reading still appears to be low in places.
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By A Customer on 21 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
I like to read true crime books in my spare time, I am a Home Office employee and deal with issues in the book! I really enjoyed this book and could not put it down, it genuinely is the best book I have ever read. I do hope the Author writes some more. The author paint some priceless pictures, any one who enjoys their crime books just order it!
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Format: Paperback
These were blokes that kept alot of us decently clothed for around a fiver an item in the early to mid eighties around old trafford. Its a point of view and whatever you think of the morals or lack of within its pages its no more immoral than banks/energy companies and Governments who rip us off and exploit us , spending our money on making poor people poorer and fighting wars etc. Very different and socially significant this is a brave book with some great tales. It's not a book that attempts to brag , it merely states the facts but there are some brilliant stories. Colin certainly lived the life of a grafter and did a lot of time in prison for it as well , I just thought it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. Brilliant
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